Julian also claims he helped to attract £1million to Craven College for their new building. He can't have. The decision making on such building projects is strictly non political. We don't live in a banana republic where MPs can influence decisions like this with a phone call.
On Monday night he started to claim that he had played a key part in improving a rural bus service. I am still not entirely sure whether he realised that the people who had actually done the hard work were sitting in the audience and that they were getting a touch cross at hearing the credit being claimed by a politician.
But the most implausible claim he is making is that the economy is fixed and we simply need to finish the job. We are entitled to our doubts. When politicians claim they have fixed something it is time to get really worried. The things that worry me about this prediction are:
1. George Osborne based his budget on a need for 2.4% growth or higher every year for five years. It has been a very long time since anything like this was achieved. The rate of growth in the economy has recently slowed to around 0.4% a quarter or 1.6%. If the pre-election boom fizzles out then Osborne is going to tell us that he needs even more cuts than he has already half planned.
2. The balance of payments is 6% in deficit. Yes - you read that right. We are buying 6% more from abroad than we are selling. This is because we have an economy based on banking and oil because we haven't invested in being at the forefront of making the products needed for a low energy future. The deficit is being paid for by hot money going into London property and the like. Sooner or later that money will leave. When that happens we will have all the makings of a second financial crisis, particularly if the same thing happens in America which has massive foreign debts.
3. We are in a pre-election boom created by printing £375 billion. Again this needs reading twice and is hard to believe. The supposedly responsible government has printed money hand over fist and used it to help banks rebalance their balance sheet. When was the last time they helped rebuild your balance sheet? If quantitative easing stops then the recovery it funded will stop. Nothing serious has been done to fix the structural problems in the banking system and this could also lead us into another crash.
4. Despite printing all this money we have entered a period of deflation, something which almost always slows growth. Inflation has declined steadily and is now zero and heading into negative territory. This is not good news. For Japan it has produced 20 years of slow growth. Japan has a national debt of 214% of GDP. That's higher than Greece.
5. We have been told that there will be another £30 billion of cuts. This is bound to have a negative impact on the economy. If you cut spending then you cut income. If you cut income you cut sales. If you cut sales then firms lay off workers and they lose income. Spending gets cut again and you get a recession. If you are lucky. This type of economics is what gave us the great depression and the Second World War
There is of course a well tried and tested alternative. It is that the government damps down spending during a boom (Gordon Brown increased it) and increases spending during a downturn (Osborne cut it). This policy isn't a mad left wing invention. It was used by Conservative PMs such as Winston Churchill (after he learned from his mistakes in the 30s) and Harold McMillan and it gave us 30 years of successful economic growth from 1945 to 1970. It is respectable economics based on rock solid analysis produced by John Maynard Keynes. The man had no interest in destroying capitalism. He wanted to save it from itself by damping down booms and slumps.
If you want a high risk experiment of trying to fix everything by cutting back on government spending and letting the free market rip then vote Conservative. You won't get the Conservative party you know. You will get something very similar to the Tea Party in the USA and all the extreme ideology that goes with it. You will get a party that is just itching to have another go at the welfare state the second the election is over. You will also almost certainly get a party viciously divided over Europe and unable to agree on the way forward.
If you want economic chaos - vote Conservative. The only thing they've fixed is a pre election boom. If you are prepared to start laying the foundations for a change to a properly stable and secure circular economy then vote Green.